The Honourable Paul Davis, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, recently announced the member appointments to the Premier’s Youth Advisory Committee, a unique forum which will advise government on youth-related programs and policies. Of the 23 young people from varied backgrounds, experiences and regional perspectives who form the committee, three are students attending College of the North Atlantic (CNA).
Danielle Arbour of Goulds is currently enrolled in the Comprehensive Arts & Science program at the Prince Philip Drive campus in St. John’s and intends to apply to the Centre for Nursing Studies upon completion. She has volunteered with the Easter Seals Volunteer Wheelchair Basketball program and as an Easter Seals Ambassador. She says she is looking forward to trying to come up with different ways to find solutions to some of the issues facing youth in the province.
“It’s an honour to be chosen for a committee like this for our province,” Danielle said. “Especially to have the input of children and youth who have physical disabilities to see what kind of issues need to be approached.”
Donald Slaney of St. Lawrence is enrolled in the Business Administration program through the college’s Distributed Learning Service. Donald is the president and founder of MADD Burin Peninsula, and a board member and active volunteer with the St. Lawrence Community Youth Network.
"I am truly honoured and excited to share my ideas to improve the lives of youth, and create solutions with our quality committee,” Donald said. “An issue important to me would be to improve Mental Health services for youth, and I believe this can be started by increasing guidance councillors instead of decreasing them.”
Victoria Pittman of St. John’s is currently enrolled in the Construction/ Industrial Electrical program at Happy Valley-Goose Bay campus. She has been a volunteer with Young Cancer Canada since 2009, is currently vice-president of the provincial CNA Students’ Union, and president of the Student Council at her campus. She also represents the Labrador region for the Canadian Federation of Students.
“I feel very privileged to have been selected for such an important committee,” Victoria said, “I am honoured to be a voice for young people in this province. What I’m really looking forward to is hearing what high school students think. To see the different viewpoints of those on the committee is very interesting, but my main concern is the tuition freeze and how it will affect others.”
The Youth Advisory Committee features representatives with a wide range of regional perspectives and backgrounds such as high school students, post-secondary students, and youth in the workforce.
College of the North Atlantic’s Associate Vice-President of Student Services, Elizabeth Chaulk, says the college encourages students to play an active role in the day-to-day events at their campus of study and in the community as well.
“I’m delighted that our students have been given this opportunity to work and provide input on social issues and public policy in a way that could shape their own future,” said Chaulk. “Many of our students are active as volunteers in their hometowns before they come to the college, and we provide them with every opportunity to continue those efforts during their time with us. Danielle, Donald and Victoria represent the significant number of insightful individuals we have throughout our 17 campuses, and I know they will represent them all to the best of their ability.”
Other members of the Youth Advisory Committee can be found on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador website at www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2015/exec/0203n01.aspx.
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic